With the help of 3D-printing, this kitten is learning to walk again.
In early September, Cassidy the kitten was found near death – starving and stumbling around a Canadian forest. After nine weeks of somehow surviving by himself, he was taken into care by the non-profit cat sanctuary Tiny Kittens. When rescued, he weighed less than half a kilogram (one pound) and the sanctuary was doubtful whether he would survive, let alone walk again. It’s believed Cassidy’s mother accidentally chewed off his legs when trying to remove his umbilical chord. The wounds then developed an E. coli infection that his depleted body was unable to fight.
Shelley Roche, founder of Tiny Kittens, told Global News: “I put a call out on Facebook to see if anybody might help us with some kind of sling or maybe even a wheelchair.” Two 17-year-old high school students, Josh Messmer and Isaiah Walker, caught wind of the post and decided to design and 3D-print a wheelchair for Cassidy at their school.
After the kitten received his new wheelchair, Roche added, “He's so much happier and having the freedom to move is something he's never had before.”
Tiny Kittens is a non-profit organization that is 100% volunteer run. They provide sanctuary for homeless and abandoned cats, as well as help research projects on feral cats and cat overpopulation. Not only that, their Facebook page gives them a social media presence, which they use to spread the word on responsible pet ownership (and flood the Internet with even more cute cat pictures).
This is just one of many instances where 3D-printing has been used for medical and veterinary needs. Earlier this year, a Toucan received a 3D-printed bill, and just last month a cancer patient was given a 3D-printed chest prosthetic. However, as of yet, this is arguably the cutest application of 3D-printing ever.